Among the many tour and outing opportunities we offer through our tour company is horseback riding in Skagway, AK. The majority of people we get going on these tours have never gone horseback riding before, so they often don’t know exactly what to expect out of their experience.
With this in mind, here are a few things you should know before you head out on your horseback riding tour:
- Know how to stay safe
Before you go out riding, your instructor will tell you everything you need to know about how to stay safe on your ride, but it can help you to read up on this ahead of time, as well. Know how to hold onto the horse, and what you should avoid doing that could accidentally aggravate or frighten your horse. Wear the helmet you’re provided.
- Dress appropriately
You should always wear long pants while on horseback, so your legs don’t chafe against the saddle. You should also wear close-toed shoes with small heels so your feet remain in the stirrups at all times. Avoid any clothing that could potentially get tangled in equipment.
Horseback riding is often more physically taxing than first-time riders expect, so make sure you bring a water bottle and stay hydrated, because you’re going to work up a sweat.
- Spend some time getting to know your horse
Arrive at the stable a little early so you can spend some time with your horse before you head out on your tour. When you meet the horse for the first time, make sure to stay toward the front and on the left side. Your horse is going to be familiar with humans, so you don’t have to worry about it being anxious in your presence, but it’s still helpful for both of you to get acquainted with each other (and for you to get familiar with some horse riding best practices) before you head out on your ride.
- Secure all equipment
Before you get into the saddle, make sure all equipment has been properly secured into place. Your instructor will help you with this process, but basically you’re just checking to make sure the saddle doesn’t slide around and that the stirrups are the correct length for your legs.
- Know the horse’s gaits
Most horses have four different speeds of gait: walking, trotting, cantering and galloping. The walk provides you with the most stability and steadiness, as at least one foot will always be on the ground. Be sure to relax and move with the horse. For beginners, most of your ride will be spent walking, though you might get up to a trot at some point. Beginners will never canter or gallop their first time on a horse.
- Know how to use the reins
Always be gentle with the reins, being sympathetic with potential discomfort your horse could experience. Listen to the instructor when they provide instructions about using those reins.
For more information about how you can prepare for horseback riding in Skagway, AK, contact Klondike Tours, Inc. today.